The Narrenturm, which means "Tower of Fools", was a former asylum located next to the Old Vienna General Hospital in Vienna (Spitalgasse, 2). It was the first building for accomodation of mental patients ever built in continental Europe.1. It was constructed in 1784, under Emperor Joseph II, and designed by court architect Isidore Carnevale, one year before the erection of the Medizinhistorisches Museum des Instituts für Geschichte der Medizin. There were 139 cells for inmates, provided with strong barred doors and chains, and a lightning rod, probably used in the treatment of patients, was installed on the roof ridge. Since 1974 it has become home of the Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum, with a collection of over 4000 specimens of physical abnormalities and organs preserved in formaldehyde or reproducted as paraffine wax models.
Tuberculosis: a report (1); Robert Koch (mannequin) working on tuberculin (2); small intestine from a 59-aged man (3), bronchial tube (4), lungs (5) and pulmonary artery (6) affected by tuberculosis.
Lupus: two paraffine models.
Orthopaedics: a corset for treatment of scoliosis (1); bone surgery techniques and instruments (2); a cranium affected by tumour (3); myoelectric prosthetics (4), (5), (6), (7).
Pharmacy: a traditional Chinese pharmacy cabinet (1); an eighteenth century pharmacy (2), (3) with a small balance (4).
An American cystoscope (1); a 20th century electron microscope (2); an ancient operating table (3); a device for electroconvulsive therapy (4).
Abnormalities: a fetus lacking abdominal wall (1); a Prosopo-thoracopagus: conjoined twins and other cephalopagus-thoracopagus intermediates (2); conjoined horse twins (3), an Anencephalus: fetus lacking brain (4).
- Photos by Luca Ambrosio moc.duolci|oisorbma_acul#| (January 2013)
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